Quite frankly, many times people treat Blogger like it is the c-list blogging option. It's like, you start blogging on Blogger, then you grow up and leave Blogger to self host. I always get this from clients. (I have nothing against self hosting, I just don't think it is necessary for everyone) I think the problem is that folks don't know that many of the things you see on self hosted blogs, can be achieved on Blogger. You just have to dig around for some smart person who has figured out how to do it.
A client came to me this week, and she didn't mind if I blogged through the process. Soooo, I'm going to just show you what kinds of things can be done (not all things have to be done, it's a matter of picking and choosing what is right for you).
The client is I Need a Martini Mom. Let me say first off, you don't have to have a pimped out site to have a great blog. Miss Thang gets bucco traffic to her site (she has over 700 followers, gee...I feel small time). That said, there are many things that can be done to make her look fabulous! Let's look at a screen shot...
I'll tell you right here and now, the first two things I would do right off the bat are...
1) I would host that bad boy on it's own domain. You will not loose your followers, and it won't affect your Feedburner numbers (Feedburner is not a worry unless you change hosting, in this instance, you are still hosting with Blogger). You will lose your Google Pagerank, which is a bummer:( I'd still drop the .blogspot.
2) I would hide that Blogger Navbar. I don't know why, but I have grown to hate that thing:P I think it's bulky and cheap looking. It is very easy to hide. Check here for simple details on how to do it.
Now then, the next thing I do is go away and design a look/graphic (I don't go to Istock, I draw something no one else will have). This project was easy peasy...I have been dying to do a hot mamma in a martini glass (so psyched for this to come my way!)
*Poof* Here's the graphic I drew. Don'cha LOVE our Martini Mom!?!
Now, I go to a test site, and put together the whole look for client approval. I will be posting that step in the next few days. (I gotta do it first)
I will tell you, if you are going to Blogher...I signed up for the Geek Lab Room of Your Own Series. Go vote if you would like to have some tips and tricks for pimping out your blog, as well as branding and coming up with an overall look (not just code stuff)...you have to search to the bottom of the page (mine is Blog Design) Let 'em know if you would attend in the comments (so far, I have no one...sad I know)
That being said, I think branding is the funnest (is that a word?) part of the whole thing. I LOVE coming up with looks for peoples blogs. It's so fun! I LOVE the graphic I came up with for Martini Mom, and whether you can draw or not, there are so many avenues for coming up with your own look....I am getting off my soapbox...now:)
I am going to go away and pimp the test site...then I'll post again to show you what else I came up with to complete this makeover...more later;)